tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 14, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
seriously. and i hope and intend to be an even better president in the second term than i was in the first. >> hoping and depending on the president, hoping and depending that people will be firm in what they believe but secure enough to come to the table and give and take to make america move forward and take care of its people. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. sticking it! let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. let me start with this. think a second, think if this election had gone the other way. john boldin, not susan rice, would be the hot talk for secretary of state. war clouds would be overhead and the bugles blaring would be
marching to iran. just think self-deportation would be the name of the game for immigration. voter suppression would be the toast of the town, or certain parts of town. the extinction of health care would be hr-1, up there on the front burner for congressional action. just think, if the election had gone the other way the rich would be basking in the best tax protection known to man, a real-life, genuine mandate to leave them and their money alone. but a funny thing happened on the way to the white house. people voted for tax fairness. they voted to make the rich pay their share, specifically voted that way for one thing because the republicans kept warning them not to. and so it came to pass today that president obama said just that at his press conference. give the middle class their tax cuts, speaker boehner. cut it loose so they can go christmas shopping, senator mcconnell. it's what the people voted for. that's why they voted for me. that's the president talking. we are joined now by nbc's chief white house correspondent chuck todd.
thanks for joining us tonight. this was a hot pressure cooker press conference and you were in the middle. let's talk about the president's tactic. it looks like he's got one. here he is sticking out his message of defending the middle class today, sticking to it. he practically dared the republicans to hold tax cuts for the middle class hostage. he went back to that word hostage. let's take a look. >> the other option is to pass a law right now that would prevent any tax hike whatsoever on the first $250,000 of everybody's income. i hope republicans in the house come on board, too. we should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. the most important step we can take right now, i think the foundation for a deal that helps the economy, creates jobs, gives consumersty, which means gives consumers confidence they'll have consumers during the holiday season if we right away say 98% of americans aren't going to see their taxes go up.
>> i thought that was pretty well crafted as a tactic. i don't know if it's a strategy. basically saying, republicans, we're going to put a lot of pressure on you because middle class, 97% of the country want those tax cuts kept, they to want keep them, go holiday shopping. don't use the rich people and their purposes as an excuse to screw the middle class. >> reporter: that's right. look, the one thing the president did do is he did leave himself a tiny bit of wiggle room for republicans to say, hey, i'm willing to listen to a compromise if you don't want to just move all of the bush tax rates up to the clinton tax rates, essentially, from 35% to 39%. obviously, the president was making his case, hey, that bill, it passed the senate. it's sitting there. if the house passes it, then we've passed the tax rates for the 98%. then have you this other debate. he left himself -- what was interesting there, when i pressed him about, is this a red line, are you not going to
support any deal that doesn't raise tax rates on the wealthy and he stopped short of that. >> let's watch that, chuck. let's watch it because it was your question. you asked him, as you just said, if there was room for a deal that didn't include -- did not include a return of the clinton era tax cuts of 39.6% for the wealthy people. here's what the president said in response to you. let's watch. >> with respect to the tax rates, i just want to emphasize, i am open to new ideas. if the republican counterparts or some democrats have a great idea for us to raise revenue, maintain progressivety, make sure the middle class isn't getting hit, reduces our deficit, encourages growth, i'm not going to just slam the door in their face. >> chuck, you're sharp as hell on this but let me suggest another interpretation. he went in there with one goal, like ronald reagan used to do, i want one headline, don't let the middle class be held hostage. he repeated it over and over again. >> reporter: he said it 19
times. >> he didn't want the headline to be switched by adversarial press or neutral press that didn't to want go with his line to say him, adamant, president adamant on rich paying 39.6%. maybe that's why you softened up to you. just an interpretation. >> reporter: i can tell you congressional republicans were happy with his response. they like to know there is some give. here's where the give could be, chris. nobody's talked about this. i mean, there's been some behind the scenes chatter on this, which is you could see tax rates temporarily go up just not all the way to 39%. it could be somewhere in the middle. ends up being the compromise for the one year. don't forget, this is all about setting the tax rates simply for 2013, while they negotiate larger tax reform. so, that could be what the wiggle room is. obviously, republicans have said they don't want to raise tax rates at all. they're fine with revenue. and the president's sitting there saying, i'm open to that.
i'm open to listening to your ideas. i don't believe the math works without raising rates. well, what's the middle ground? raising tax rates halfway in between 35% and 39%. i'm just saying, that's where you can find the middle ground, the wiggle room, the potential as a way of giving -- the republicans are looking for an out on this. they need some sort of out. they know they're not going to win the fight simply on no raising of tax rates at all. but i think they want to feel as if there is some give there. and the president at least for now rhetorically gave them room to work. >> john boehner is listening to the future, he's listening to his party -- >> reporter: they want a deal. >> they want a deal. do you think the republicans are listening to the brains out like this like kristol and other thinkers, do you think they're willing to say we've been to prejudice to the rich. this is one of the areas they will say you won the battle. we won't keep fighting for the rich. >> reporter: here's what i can tell you. when you talk to leadership and do reporting on that, they want a deal. they're ready for a deal.
and they're not that far off. the problem is, can you find a minimum -- let's just say a minimum of 35 house republicans who can commit themselves to voting for a raise of tax rates. it would be and could be primary suicide for those 35 republicans. because we know these gerrymander districts. this is not about swing districts anymore. that's the problem boehner had. if boehner had 35 safe republicans, safe from a primary challenge, safe from somebody from the right on taxes, i think this deal would have happened even a lot sooner. they might have gone ahead and passed parts of -- most of that bill that came through the senate. >> they have to schedule -- the thing about leadership is they have to schedule a bill. that's the tricky part. let's take a look at this. a very interesting moment in the press conference today, extremely interesting when president obama was asked about comments from his former opponent, john mccain, who made some nasty comments about susan rice, the united states ambassador to the u.n. and she may well be the head of the state department soon. here's the president responding
in a very personal way. i thought this was really a moment here. >> let me say specifically about susan rice. she has done exemplary work. she has represented the united states and united nations with skill and professionalism and tough theness and grace. if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. when they go after the u.n. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me. and should i choose -- if i think that she would be the best person to serve america in the capacity -- the state department, then i will nominate her. that's not a determination i've made yet. >> why don't you be our u.n. interpreter right now and explain all the elements of that amazing response. it was personal, poignant,
emotional, also careful because he said i may not make her the united states secretary of state but i don't want her to get the idea or anybody in the world to get the idea f i don't give her the job it's because of benghazi in that statement. >> reporter: absolutely right. here's the thing. this has bothered the white house for weeks. the idea that susan rice is taking the fall, taking these attacks, particularly from john mccain and lindsey graham, because all she was doing, she had gotten the same intelligence briefing that members of congress did, republicans and democrats, that david petraeus signed off on, the director of cia wrote the assessment, that's what she was doing. there are people in the white house, particularly the president, but a lot of support staff feel as if susan rice has gotten a raw deal on this. that she has been a political punching bag, if you will, over the last month and a half because of the presidential campaign, because of other things. so, this point when mccain and graham did their thing, that's why the president felt he needed
to stand up for his u.n. ambassador. there's -- obviously he was giving off an indication he's willing to have a confirmation fight if they want to have one. but there's more to this, chris. there's more to this. this goes back to mccain and obama, they never -- they never had a warm relationship after the 2008 election. mccain, i think, has been tougher on the president than in the reverse. the president has sort of not taken the bait when mccain has hit him and hit him pretty hard. and i think this was an indication the president is ready to sort of fight back when it comes to mccain. this is not a good relationship. let's not pretend it ever has a chance of being one. >> you know what it reminds me of? the way nixon could never deal with the fact kennedy was beloved and he tried to smear his reputation from bay of pigs. where he called off the air cover. he was digging for jewels over the cia. >> reporter: it's always been personal. i tell you, it feels like it's
personal with mccain. i don't know if it was ever personal before with the president. now it actually feels like it might be personal with the president now, too. it's just -- it's just one of those, just like kennedy and nixon. one of those rivalries. >> i understand. we can figure these things out. thanks, chuck. chuck todd at the white house. now joining us is u.s. congressman james clyburn from south carolina, member of the house leadership. let's talk about the real politics of equity, fairness, real democratic values, congressman. you're in the leadership. you're going to make the call. does the president have to win -- i think he has to -- does he have to win on making sure the wealthy of this country get back to paying what they paid under clinton? >> absolutely. he's just absolutely got to win that. and i think he will win that. but let me say, chris, thank you so much for having me. may i say something about susan rice? >> sure. >> i have a real, real problem with my senior senator trying to make her a scapegoat in this. susan rice's roots are in florence, south carolina, that i
got the opportunity to serve for almost 20 years in the congress. her father, who -- emmitt, born in florence, didn't leave there until he was 16 years old, i've been a close friend of his over the years. i'm a close friend of susan rice. i think it's absolutely a shame for this young lady whose roots are deep in south carolina soil to get sullied like this by my senior senator, who i consider to be a good friend. susan -- >> let's talk about motive here. even if you think a person made a mistake, they were given the wrong brief, they don't think -- they haven't said she made it up. why is this hostility to this young public servant who isn't much -- who isn't a politician even. she serves in foreign affairs capacity. she isn't in the arena with you guys. why are they treating her like she's somebody to punch? >> that's exactly right.
this young african-american woman, i'm going to say. this is the kind of stuff that happened to colin powell. he was given information. he went to the united nations with information we found out later was flawed. it was not his fault then -- >> well, i think he's still mad about that. i think colin powell is still angry about the crap they gave him, so to speak. that's my feeling. because i like him. >> i do, too. and i think susan rice is getting a raw deal here. now, back to -- >> let's talk taxes and the middle class and how the president won. it seems this president was crystal clear on looking out for the middle class. if you're rich you're going to have to pay a little more. those are the stakes on election night. he's claiming them now. >> that's exactly right. that's exactly right. he campaigned on the issues that he's laid before the american people. he's talked about $1.6 trillion in revenues. i think mr. boehner's now
talking about $800 billion, somewhere in between that we ought to get to -- and i do believe that the president is in a very good place on this issue. i think the american people have demonstrated with their votes and they continue to demonstrate with all of the comments i've heard that the president is where the american people would like for him to be on this issue. middle income americans have given a lot. and they have been giving and giving and giving. just look at this war -- or these wars we have fought. basically the people fighting in these wars, they have come fm middle income america. we are talking about people who seem not to have a vested interest in all of the sacrifices that are being made to get our economy back on track. so, the president is right where the american people like for him to be. and i hope and i feel that he will hold the line on these issues. >> it's great to have you on, sir. such a great man. i mean that. every time i hear you talk, i say, yes, yes, yes.
congressman james clyburn, one of the leaders in the house of representatives. thank you for coming on. >> thank you for having me. coming up, notes on a scandal, the e-mails, the letters, if you really have to hold your ears. i don't think you will, by the way. this is getting fascinating. the phone call now, the photo, new developments all around this crazy david petraeus story involving our top general in afghanistan, most recent head in the cia, all involved in this strange quartet of relationships. liberals being liberals. how about no don't ask don't tell about being a liberal. people run now as liberals. five true blue liberals have been re-elected to the united states senate and they don't hide their colors. that's changed. the dog whistle. it's still whistling out there. listen to the co-chairs of mitt romney's wisconsin campaign saying he would have won that state if voter i.d. laws were intact. wow. think of what that's saying. by the way, president obama won wisconsin by 205,000 votes. are they saying 205,000 votes were stolen?
what are they talking about out there? they are still pushing the issue. are they admitting what we all know republican voter i.d. laws were an effort to supress the minority vote and failed? tough luck. think the republicans can solve their problems with latino voters? here's the spokesman for the american family association on why latinos vote for democrats. >> it has to do with the fact that they are socialists by nature. they come from mexico, which is a socialist country. >> yeah, people are basically intrinsically ideological. have you ever heard that before? i've never heard that. that will win a lot of hispanic votes, telling people there's something wrong with their political dna. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." the president answered questions for the first time on the scandal that forced the resignation of his cia director. listen to how well he praise it is guy who was forced to resign. let's see it. >> general petraeus had an extraordinary career. he served this country with great distinction, in iraq, in afghanistan, and as head of the cia. i want to emphasize that from my
perspective at least, he has provided this country an extraordinary service. we are safer because of the work that dave petraeus has done. and my main hope right now is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career. >> well, we know so far is that david petraeus, the general had an affair with his biographer paula broadwell that came to light after the fbi began investigating harassing e-mails sent to jill kelley, a socialite in tampa. the fbi found out it was broadwell sending those e-mails. according to the washington post, the e-mail described kelly as a -- i don't know why they do this. as a seductress. accused her of having a relationship with petraeus. for more on where things stand we're joined by chief white
house correspondent -- mike isikoff, and of course we've got david corn, who's on the show now from mother jones. let me talk about this, first of all. i think it was interesting of the president to give almost a complete snow white description of this guy. he referred to the affair, which is the reason he's being removed from office, as a single side note. i mean, bill clinton went through -- he was keel hauled. >> yeah, yeah. >> this guy get a single side note. >> just a pesky asterisk. but, you know, politicians and presidents for years in washington have been using david petraeus as cover. if you can get underneath -- >> republicans said that name over and over. >> wrap yourself in the petraeus flag and you got immunity from almost anything. >> what is president obama worried about petraeus? >> i think it's -- i think he's being gracious now. i think maybe buyer's remorse,
some people once you get into the details of this whacky situation, they're thinking maybe he should have stuck with him, maybe everything moved too fast, maybe he's -- he did what he did but maybe he's the victim -- >> before you jump to that, and i am -- the older i get the more leaning i get towards these -- >> meaning -- >> if it got out he had this affair with the reporter and also got out that the president knowing about it had kept him in office, what would that have been like? >> that would have been bad. the only way you can do this is if you make a clean breast of it, say you're sorry -- you won't do it again. >> tell the country that? >> tell the country. it's what bill clinton did. >> but he was impeached. >> under a little pressure. >> let's go to the latest developments in this. mrs. kelley, jill kelley, she's married, she was the one involved in being apparently -- she was scaring this other woman who was having the affair with petraeus. she complained to an fbi agent. this is where it became official. complained, jill kelley, complained to an fbi agent -- >> who was a friend of hers. >> who was being harassed.
then she does this call. she called 911 one week complaining, that was jill kelley, tried to invoke diplomatic privilege to get the press off her lawn. let's listen to this. this is a little strange. >> i am an honorary consul-general, so i have inviolatability so they should not be to cross my property. i don't know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well? but it's against the law to cross my property. >> this is getting more kato kaling every day. >> that phone call replaced -- >> was she writing, claiming diplomatic immunity from the press? >> no. she had a badge from macdill air force base, which was -- >> consul for -- >> honorary consul.
>> give it to me. >> look. we got a briefing from a source close to jill kelley this evening that sheds a little light on the origins of this and how this came about. the initial e-mail that triggers the concern comes from an anonymous e-mail from a kelley to general allen in afghanistan, warning him about his relation -- about his relationship with jill kelley and about an upcoming meeting they are going to have in washington. which, in fact, they were going to have. jill kelley and her husband were going to have with general allen. she -- general allen then turns that over to both jill kelley saying, what's this all about? did you send me this? what are you talking about? >> why is she an object of suspicious, because she has lebanese background or what? why are people buzzing around her and bothering her in these
personal relationships? >> we don't know what set paula broadwell off, but we understand a little more about what it was that triggered the concern of jill kelley, of general allen and the fbi. because they're talking about something that is not publicly known, the general in afghanistan is going to have a meeting with a woman in tampa. and then subsequent e-mails, about three or four more along the same lines about a meeting -- >> i want to ask you my favorite question in journalism and i want a quick answer. so what? the whole thing about so what? is there anything about national security in this? >> at the end of the day, probably not. but at the time when here is somebody, an anonymous person on the internet who knows the comings and goings of the cia director that's not public -- >> is john allen going to remain our commander in afghanistan? >> i think it depends on how inappropriate these e-mails -- >> 30,000 pages. >> it's not actually 30,000. it's a lot less than that because of the way they count. they say hundreds of e-mails.
>> but pages. >> because of threads, it's kind of technically complicated. hundreds of e-mails. we don't know exactly what he said. if he was just flirtatious with this woman and still commanding a war and doing a good job, why would you bounce him because of that? >> a source close to kelley characterized those e-mails this evening, saying, first of all, there's a handful that are problematic, that some might consider flirtatious, some might consider inappropriate, that maybe general allen had a glass of wine more than he should have, but not overtly sexual. not sexting. make of that what you will, but i'm just saying what -- >> your so what question is important. what happened here is the fbi got this tip, started looking and things sort of cascade from there. once you bring in the fbi and -- >> can i ask you about -- last question. i hear from progressives, they call me, e-mail me, talk to me. there's some suspicion on the part of a friend of mine, this is the fbi, a political point of
view, he brought this up to members of congress, he brought it to hander because he wanted to hurt the administration. >> i don't know if it was political. he wanted time with jill kelley -- >> that does not conform with the facts as we know it. >> you have to follow these leads. that's how we learn things here. thank you. not every road leads to heaven. jon stewart has something to say about those petitions, by the way, asking certain states be allowed to secede. what a waste of paper. that's ahead. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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than giving her a diamond is surprising her with one. save the surprise. shop online and ship to any zales store free. only at the diamond store. ♪ i'm lost in the light back to "hardball" now in the "side show." yesterday i told you about the angry petitions to the white house asking that certain states be allowed to secede from the union now that president obama has been re-elected. texas was the leader of the pack
with one petition counting 70,000 signatures by yesterday afternoon. jon stewart weighed in. >> i think i can best express how i feel about these states and people in the words of the great william wonka. stm. >> stop. don't. come back. [ cheers and applause ] >> at least now i'm beginning to understand why southern states were so hesitant to get rid of the confederate flag. it's like keeping your fat pants after you lose some weight. you're happy for now with the new you, but pretty soon you're going to need those fat pants again! pizza! oh, demino's in staten island. >> then there's the issue of the latino vote which many republicans say they need if they have any hope of winning back the white house. listen to brian fisher, spokesman for conservative american family association they call themselves and you realize why the gop's problems with latinos run very deep.
wait until you hear this guy. >> hispanics are not democrats, don't vote democrat because of immigration. that's not the main reason why they vote for democrats. it has to do with the fact that they are socialists by nature. they come from mexico. which is a socialist country. they want big government goodies. it's primarily about that. now, they want open borders, make no mistake because they have family and friends they want to come and be able to benefit from the plunder of the wealth of the united states just as they have been able to do. there is no way on earth you're going to get them to leave the democratic party. it's one of the reasons we have to clamp down on immigration. >> it's that kind of talk that will keep the gop losing elections for a generation. up next, what did paul ryan mean when he blamed president obama's victory last week on the urban vote? do you like that word? is he blowing that dog whistle
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do you think photo i.d. would have made any difference? the outcome of this election? >> yes, i think so. we're looking at all sorts of different precincts and all sorts of same-day registrations. people will go on, we don't have fraud and abuse in our election, but why can't we have voter i.d. when majority of our people in wisconsin want it, the governor signed it. why should one judge in dade county be able to hold it up? >> there you have the problem with the republican party. pay a lot of attention to that what that woman just said, senate senator. that's the state -- state senator wisconsin, i don't know her, served as mitt romney's co-chair in the state and now she's saying suppressing the vote by requiring voter i.d. cards would have made the difference in wisconsin. let's look at the facts. apparently she's not interested in the facts. obama won wisconsin by 205,000 votes. 200,000 votes plus. she's saying there that that was stolen, the democrats stole.
the same day registration. poor people came in the state, they stole over 200,000 votes. that's her claim because there weren't photo voter i.d. card requirements. paul ryan -- there's more of this dog whistle crap going on. paul ryan expressing his surprise that the pro-obama turnout in an interview monday, two days ago, well after the election, they're still talking like this. let's listen to ryan here. >> we're surprised with the outcome. we knew this was going to be a close race. we thought we had a very good chance of winning it. i think the surprise was some of the turnout. some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which definitely gave president obama the big margin. to win this race. >> well, cynthia tucker, visiting professor of journalism at university of georgia and joan walsh, editor-at-large by salon. author of "what's the matter with white people"? that question seems apt. the l.a. times just posted a report on mitt romney's conference call today with top donors. it says romney, quote, attributed his rival's victory
to, quote, the gifts the obama administration had given to blacks, hispanics and young voters during obama's first term. obama, romney argued, had been very generous, quotes around it, to blacks, hispanics and young voters. i once heard a canadian election saying they lost election to people that wanted to stay as part of canada because of ethnic voters. that means not french, not english. this guy, paul ryan who i don't think is right for prime time yet by any means talking about the urban vote. now, they won the other side because they got the most votes. because they won fair and square, which is the first thing ryan said. why do you have to step on his own headline. they won fair and square by saying, oh, it was the black vote. basically, that's what he's saying. >> chris, let me just say, as for romney's comments, i'm still waiting for my gift. i'm waiting for my gift from obama. i haven't received my gift yet. >> where is it? >> maybe it was lost in the mail. >> you may have voted for him
without getting that thing in the mail he was supposed to send everybody? >> maybe chris has it. >> i did not get my gift. let me just say the comments that you have focused on encapsulate the republicans' problems. while pundits have been speculating that republicans have finally learned their lessons, they have to stop being so disrespectful to large blocs of voters. they have not learned. they cannot stop being disptful and dismissive. this business of urban vote. chris, you're an urban voter. you live in a city, don't you? >> actually, i live two blocks outside a city, but i spent most my life living either in philadelphia or in worcester, massachusetts, in college, which
is a city, or in washington, d.c. for many, many years, yes. >> i mean, this is just nonsense. they cannot speak of us as americans, as voters. and we understand that. and that's the reason so many black and brown people, and so many white voters, by the way, don't vote for the republican party. >> yeah, i think that was well said. i think a lot of white people are turned off by this old style stuff. joanie, my question to you, my dear friend, how do you explain romney, who left the stage with such grace on election night, i'll tribute to that forever the way he did it, now going back over this again saying they bought the minority vote. this is the kind of thing he was saying during the campaign, remember. he was saying, they get rid of work requirement for welfare because he had to pay off his base. the feeding of the base. it's a theme he's still pushing. >> why does he say it, chris? because he really believes it. they really believe this is what it's all about and we've all been paid off. as cynthia says, i'm still waiting for my gifts, too. the thing that irks me to hear
the two people from wisconsin speak so dismisses ively about their own population and own state -- i mean, paul ryan lost his own district, his city, his hometown, which is not a particularly urban place. but i cast -- >> 200,000 vote thieves. 200,000. >> and i cast my first vote for jimmy carter in suburban milwaukee. i went to high school and college in wisconsin. we are proud of our tradition, of broad public participation in the vote, chris. wisconsin -- >> and clean elections, too. >> clean elections. wisconsin and minnesota have the two highest rates of participation. that used to be something to proud of as a wisconsin resident. they are mad because they got their butts kicked by a resurgent democratic party in the state, which outorganized them. that's what it's all about. >> you know, teddy white when he wrong making the president in '66, when you have votes in states like wisconsin and minnesota, you can count on the vote being exactly right. let's go back to cynthia. people out there will say matte
matthews, and you sign thea hear that dog whistle when it's not even there. maybe, but when you put it all together from sununu's loss of lazy, he belongs in kenya, the latest character a few minutes ago. did you hear about the christian right wing guy said mexicans are socialist because it's in their blood because they come from a socialist country. wait a minute. arnold schwarzenegger is from socialist austria. it's the reason he left. it could be they want to live in a country with more freedom and less government. i don't know. a lot of people i grew up with in the united states from polish backgrounds and other backgrounds, they come from that -- ukrainian backgrounds, they want the catholic school, they all came from left wing -- hard left wing communist countries and they're the opposite. this idea you can trace people's ideological dna through their migratory roots is insane. >> it shows how very little they
understand their fellow americans and how very little they're trying to understand. you know, chris, what it says to me, a lot of the nonsense that we heard over the election, the welfare ads and all of, that i thought they put that nonsense out there to satisfy their base. now i'm noting how many of the republican strategists really believe those ugly stereotypes about voters of color. and let me further say, chris, that it isn't just the nonsense we heard in this election. black americans have understood, have heard republicans speak disrespectfully of us for the last 50 years. that's the reason black americans don't vote for the republican party. now for the last five to seven years, latinos have been hearing the same thing.
if you continue to talk about us in this stereotypical, dismissive manner, we get the message. you don't want us in your party. and, of course, we are not going to give you our votes. it's as simple as that. >> i love the way they just say, and i use that sarcastically, well, were your votes stolen or bought? that's a nice debate in the republican party. we can't decide if they bought their votes or stole them? i make it funny because it's horrible. cynthia, i love your passion and truth. thank you so much. joan, too. the name of your book? >> "what's the matter with white people?" >> seems to be apt for tonight's discussion. up next, five died. no more don't ask don't tell meaning your ideology is out there on your mettle. you can say you're a liberal now and no more i'm a moderate or whatever. and win. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf.
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massachusetts. tammy baldwin in wisconsin. chris murphy up in connecticut and maizie hirono in hawaii. how is this going to change things when they get there? jonathan allen covers congress for politico. susan, you first. you know politics like i do. i think it's fascinating, all of these years of not being openly liberal, saying things like, well, i'm a moderate, maybe progressive came in as a bit of a euphemism for a while there. what's going on here the fact that these people -- i'm looking at -- there's no doubt elizabeth warren will be a liberal. there's. there's no doubt about tammy baldwin, murphy or maize hirono. they're saying, we're progressives, we're liberals, big deal. >> well, i think what's happening here is that while the republican party was having its own kind of implosion, figuring out who they were. the democrats, in fact, were kind of coming home and getting back to the core of who they are. so now you have the republicans trying to figure out how to
expand their base, whatever their come to jesus moment is, or a come to jesus moment where they try to draw on democrats a little bit more. the democrats got back to the core principles that define them as a democratic party. we saw this with the democratic national convention, with speeches by deval patrick, by president clinton, by mayor castro. really talking about who and what they are as democrats. and that's what they're going to be. they're actually becoming, i think, a little bit more clear-minded in their mission on the hill now. >> i think it's true. jonath jonathan, what do you think? i think there's such a thing as a democrat now. they're not socialists, somewhere with mixed capitalism. somewhere humphrey was a few years ago. definitely nationalists, definitely not pacifists, like jimmy carter was in a few ways. no one's going to call this president a pacifist, at all. your thoughts. >> howard, dan would call it the democratic wing of the democratic party. you've got all these candidates
who now believe that there's a justice message, a fairness message, that's a very populist message, that barack obama tapped into in 2008. and remember, all these candidates were running with him this year. a lot of them synthesized their messages with them. sometimes a little bit to the right, sometimes a little bit to the left. but they are coming in as obama democrats into the senate and he's going to have some more forceful people in places like wisconsin, where you have a tammy baldwin replacing the much older -- her core is pretty liberal, but not a champion for liberal causes. maize hirono replacing daniel akaka in hawaii. warren replacing scott brown, what a change from a moderate republican to a very liberal, consumer-focused democrat. and murphy in connecticut replacing joe lieberman. very moderate guy, often voted with republicans. chris murphy, not so much. >> i was up with dukakis and he's working with a cause i
help, helping people get legal protection for medical situations. and he was killed for being a liberal. i don't think he can run those kind of campaigns against democrats and say, oh, he's a liberal, that's it, end of argument, you know. >> isn't that part of it, chris? they were apologizing for it all the time. that doesn't really get you anywhere. i think the important thing, when you talk about what's happening on the hill is you don't have to be a moderate to be a good negotiator. with some exceptions like olympia snowe, obviously, a moderate who's a great negotiator. some of the best negotiators on the hill have been liberals or conservatives. ted kennedy, pete dmenchi, so. >> that's my speech today, which is your best constituency is your conscious. and if you really believe, unlike romney, you really believe in something, you know how to negotiate. you don't have to pretend you're a robot. susan milligan, as always. when we return, let me finish with what president obama can expect to see tomorrow when he visits the devastated areas
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the amazing network of people attempting to help the victims out there on staten island and brooklyn and the nastily hit parts of queens, like rockaway and breezy point. let's take rockaway, an area where nearly every family has a firefighter in the family, a police officer, sanitation worker, or some other public servant. and yet they continue to suffer through the aftermath of this disaster and the bitter cold without even the basics of human life, like working heat, clean water, or beds to sleep in. you won't believe how bad it is up there. there's a church in the bell harbor section of rockaway, st. frances desails, that's a familiar name to catholics. they have set up a relief center that's doing a huge service to the people there. it's helping people to get access to generators and other ways to get back into their homes. if you want to help this local relief effort in st. frances, send a conversation to st. frances de